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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

320: APOLOGY

In the revelation given to Joseph Smith, truth is defined as knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 93:24). This knowledge of truth is absolute. Absolute truth is unchanging, fixed, and unalterable facts. Truth that is independent for all people, even if it is not recognized it to be true. 

The opposite of absolute truth is relative truth. To say that something is relatively true means that it can be true for one person and not for another. It is “true” according to differences in perception and consideration. 

When two well intentioned people see things completely different, conflict can arise, especially if one professes their “relative truth” as absolute truth.   

For example, one could define a "hero" as someone who doesn’t leave his village in its time of need. He stays to help and hopefully save his family. He does all that he can to make it a better place. He ministers for his love of the common people, not necessary for the mayor and city leaders. On the other hand, one might define a true hero as someone who bravely leaves his hometown to stand for truth. Which one is the hero?

I think everyone would prefer to be a hero rather than the coward. We would prefer to do what is right than to do what is wrong. To quote a recent apocalyptic movie, “Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves?”

We are all wanderers in this lone and dreary world. We are all in search of our better self.. but what is your better self? 

Our better self is one who forgives and repents. 

Part of forgiving is to say, I Love You.
Part of repenting is to say I am sorry.. I apologize. 

Hugh Nibley taught: “We don’t need to go on forever suffering the same nonsense in order to see the things we can be tested for, namely the two things and the only two things we are good at: we can forgive and we can repent. These are the two things the angels envy us for…..What defines a righteous man? Who is righteous? Anyone who is repenting. No matter how bad he has been, if he is repenting he is a righteous man. There is hope for him. And no matter how good he has been all his life, if he is not repenting, he is a wicked man. The difference is which way you are facing. The man on the top of the stairs facing down is much worse off than the man on the bottom step who is facing up. The direction we are facing, that is repentance; and that is what determines whether we are good or bad.

Some of the Lord’s first words to Adam were: “Thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore” (Moses 5:8). When the Lord came to the Nephites, among his first words to them were these: “This is the gospel, that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent” (3 Nephi 11:32).

We all need to repent, we all need to forgive more. Heaven help us.

If I am in error, I want to be corrected. If I have been deceived, I want to be taught the truth. If I have been prideful, I want to be humbled. If I don't understand, I want to comprehend. If I am unkind,  I pray to have charity. If I get angry, I want to have more patience. If I have been wronged by someone, I want to forgive them. If I mess up, I want to apologize.

Friday, May 15, 2015

319: COINCIDENCE?


When my little sister got engaged, she decided that she wanted a summer wedding and have her reception in our backyard. (thanks to the movie, Father of the Bride)  Although my parents tried to discourage her, my sister persisted. My parents knew that our yard and home were not ready to host an outdoor reception and would require alot of work. In the months leading up to the wedding, every weekend was spent preparing our home and yard. Planting, raking, pruning, painting, digging, moving, weeding. The wedding day finally came and the weather forecast did not look good. Alternate plans were put into place for moving the reception indoors. My sister thought.. how could this happen? We spent so much time getting our home ready for this wedding and now it is going to rain? Didn't the Lord hear our prayers? Was the inclement weather a sign that we did not have heaven's blessing? While it rained the day of her wedding, by the time the reception started, the storm had passed. Coincidence or Divine intervention?

 I don't necessarily believe that things in nature, like the weather, is always a sign from God. Storms are a natural part of this world. They happen all the time and it rains on the just  and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) Everyone at one time or another has had "rain" on their parades. That being said, when things happen in nature that are unusual, I do take notice.

 I took notice of this: The National Weather Service announced a 3 day WINTER WEATHER WARNING for the Grand Mesa area in Colorado. The warning starts today and goes through Sunday. Winter warnings are not unusual for Colorado, however, in the middle of the May.. it is unusual. And to have a Winter Warning last for 3 days is also unusual. Here is the report.

Active Advisory: Winter Storm Warning Active Notice: Public Information Statement

 
 
I wouldn't normally post something like this, but thought it might be important for some to take notice of this. 

It is quite possible that this weekend's weather in Western Colorado, primarily near the Grand Mesa is just a coincidence,  or it could be divine intervention, or it could be an opportunity for those who feel they have received Divine approval to use their faith to control the elements. We tend to interpret the signs to fit our own paradigm and I will allow the  reader to make that decision for themselves.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

318: FIXED AND IMMOVABLE

Last weekend, I watched my daughter perform at her Spring Ice Show.  She skates on a synchronized ice skating team. . There are 18 of them on the team, all under the age of 12. They all try and stay together in unison despite being different heights and builds. It is fun to watch them practice their skills in an unforgiving sport performed on ice. They glide, turn, dance, and spin. One of the more interesting things to watch is the forming of a large spinning wheel.



 In order to form a spinning wheel in synchronized skating, one of the skaters plants her toe pick deep into the ice to secure her skate so it will not move and become an anchor. It becomes the fixed and immovable point were all the skaters have a sure place of origin to spin from. Every skater must rotate around this common center point. As the skaters begin to link their hands together in an spin, the middle person basically stands unmovable while the other skates begin to rotate around quite fast.. The very outer skaters get whipped around really fast. The farther you are away from the center, the faster and faster you will spin.. It is easy to fall and hard to hold on when you are on the outer parts of the wheel. 



I have thought about this metaphor that past couple of days. If only we can rely and hold onto Christ as that center anchor in our lives.

In reading recently Joseph Smiths' history, I think we are so similar to the revivals at during Joseph Smith time. He said... “and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!”

We have been given advice in when we read in Matthew 24 that in the last days… “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

There is only ONE.. and just like in the example of the ice skating metaphor, there is One who stands in the center who we need to connect to and that is Jesus Christ. Without a tight grip on Him we could find ourselves spinning out of control.... or participating in circles that it might not be wise to do so.

A division has begun. On one hand you have people steeped in tradition, closed minded. and slow to learn anything new especially if it doesn't come form the mouths of our current living leaders. On the other you have almost too open minded people who will believe in just about anything spiritual without using much discernment.  Various groups are forming, not unlike what we read in the Book of Mormon when there were divisions among the people.

Just like when someone is hungry for food, they will do anything to feed their mouths and will eat just about anything. When someone is spiritually hungry they too will do anything as well. They will believe in doctrines that resembles light and truth even though much could be full of deception. I have many well meaning friends who participate in all kinds of gatherings currently taking place attending gatherings, reunions, symposiums, conventions, retreats, lectures, trainings, and classes.

...or spending a considerable amount of time online in: facebook groups, forums, reader groups, blogs.

Here are few things I read recently:

Enthusiasm for spiritual knowledge can lead to impatience. Impatience causes those who ought to await direction from the Lord to charge ahead and be destroyed.

But it is better for the impatient to be drawn away than gather to destroy the work of God.

A strait and narrow way will be found by only few. To find it the few will confront dozens of voices imploring them to diverge from what God has underway crying “Lo, Here!” and “Lo, There!” It is required for the few to reject false offers of salvation, purported higher knowledge, pacifying doctrines, flattery and errors coming from teachers who command people to hearken to their precepts.

How the Lord can accomplish His work in this fallen place will be a wonder to behold. None in this generation seem to have the patience to allow Him to do as He has promised.
If we try and move ahead in front the Lord, we actually are working against him. wo, to those who really thing they speak on behalf of the Lord, but have either been deceived and are taking the Lord's name in vain.

Yes, doubt everything other than truth taken from the scriptures. They are the standard by which all things should be measured

 Because this generation does not understand their precarious situation, they are unable to repent. But it is only repentance which can save some few souls. People are so quickly and easily drawn away from the challenge to repent before God into some other vain and foolish track. That is necessary, however, because in Joseph's day we failed in Kirtland, failed again in Missouri, failed in Nauvoo and then lost Joseph. In Brigham's day we failed in Salt Lake. The effort to save great numbers has not and will not work. There have always been comparatively few who have the patience and devotion to allow the Lord to do His work. Men and women charge into the upward pass and are slain by the beast who guards the way generation after generation, while God works patiently to save some few. In the meantime, if great numbers can be persuaded to wander off or charge impatiently, then so be it. Had they remained, they would have spoiled what lies at the top of the mountain. It is better, therefore, that they be taken in their vanity than to bring it with them into a society where such things would be ruinous.

 Given the vanity and pride of mankind, it seems unlikely there will ever be people who are willing to strictly observe only what He asks as He asks it. It is a mistake to think we can improve on what He gives us, and yet we do.

Vanity, pride, looking beyond the mark, self-will, arrogance, and reckless enthusiasm all proceed from a lack of gratitude to God for what He gives us. Instead of accepting in gratitude and practicing it with patience, we demand more, insist we can improve on His ways, and charge ahead into the pass to be destroyed by the beast. The chosen of God remain scatterlings, unable to dwell in the House of God with Him, because it cannot be built with the unclean hands of a wayward generation.

We have moved into a season of increasing light now. But I do not think mankind has yet reached its winter solstice. From all I have seen, darkness continues to hold sway among even the very elect.


Friday, May 1, 2015

317: MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY!

Today is May 1, also referred to as "May Day". May Day is an ancient spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s an astronomical holiday, one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, or day that falls more or less midway between an equinox and solstice – in this case the March equinox and June solstice. The other cross-quarter days are Groundhog Day on February 2, Lammas (festival of the wheat harvest) on August 1 and Halloween on October 31.


Mayday is also the word used around the world to make a distress call via radio communications. Mayday signals a life-threatening emergency, usually on a ship or a plane, although it may be used in a variety of other situations. Procedure calls for the mayday distress signal to be said three times in a row — Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! — so that it won’t be mistaken for another word or phrase that sounds similar under noisy conditions. A typical distress call will start with mayday repeated three times, followed by all the relevant information that potential rescuers would need,.

Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who came up with the word because it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means “help me.” Sometimes a mayday distress call is sent by one vessel on behalf of another vessel in danger. This is known as a mayday relay. A mayday relay is sometimes necessary if the vessel in danger loses radio communications. If a mayday call is repeated and not acknowledged, another vessel hearing the call may attempt to relay it again and again until help is reached. A mayday call is not something to be taken lightly.

I consider one the prayers that was given at yesterday's  Washington: A Man of Prayer event a MayDay call for help. It was given by Rabbi Jonathon Cahn.  (The “Washington: A Man of Prayer” commemorates the events of April 30, 1789, when, after being sworn in at Federal Hall, President Washington, accompanied by Congress, proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel where they “offered dedicatory prayers to God in divine services on America’s behalf.”)

Cahn’s words of warning referred specifically to the Supreme Court justices who are currently hearing arguments on whether the U.S. government should mandate recognition of homosexual “marriage” across the country.

 He said: “The justices of the Supreme Court took up their seats [in a hearing] on whether they should strike down the biblical and historic definition of marriage,” he said. “That the event should even take place is a sign this is America of [George] Washington’s warning … a nation at war against its own foundation.” Washington’s warning was the smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation “that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained.”

He noted the Supreme Court opens sessions with the words, “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

“If this court should overrule the word of God and strike down the eternal rules of order and right that heaven itself ordained, how then will God save it?” he asked. “Justices, can you judge the ways of God? There is another court and there another judge, where all men and all judges will give account.

“If a nation’s high court should pass judgment on the Almighty, should you then be surprised God will pass judgment on the court and that nation? We are doing that which Israel did on the altars of Baal,” he said.

“We are exchanging our light for darkness.”

He said America’s biblical foundation was affirmed throughout history and the nation came into existence “solely for the glory and purposes of God.”

“No historian can rewrite that. No president can expunge that,” he warned. “If a thousand angels swore on a thousand Bibles that this was not the case, it would in no way alter the fact. … America was brought into existence for the will and purposes of God.”

He explained ancient Israel turned away from God.

“They drove God out of the government. They worshiped idols and served other gods. They celebrated immorality and they persecuted righteousness. The blessings of God were removed and replaced with judgments,” he said.

Now, he said, “America has made the same mistakes.”

He cited the deaths of 55 million through abortion.

“What we were warned never to do we now have done,” he thundered.

Moving to directly confront President Obama, whose pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda has been unparalleled in American history, he questioned what happens when a leader places his left hand on the Bible to assume to highest office in the land but with his right hand “enacts laws that violate the laws of God.”

“Mr. President, when you address the House, look up above the senators and the representatives, above the Supreme Court justices, you’ll see a face, the only full visage in that wall. It is the face of Moses. … It would say this, ‘No man can overrule the laws of God. No judgment of man can stand against the judgment of God’.”

 America, he warned, is faced with a critical decision, “Choose you this day whom you will serve … if the Lord be God, then follow Him. If Baal, then follow him and go to hell.”

Believers, he said, will “not bow down our knees to Baal,” the politically correct or anything other than God.

“Jesus the Messiah,” he said, “is the only answer, the only chance that America has that it might once again shine with the presence of the living God … and not go to hell.”

Only time will tell if we find ourselves all yelling, MayDay, MayDay, MayDay!